EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.10.10

Keeping the Software Patents Monster Caged in Japan and in the United States

Posted in America, Asia, GNU/Linux, Law, Patents, TomTom at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

WWI propaganda poster (US version)
DESTROY THIS MAD BRUTE – Enlist U.S. Army” is the caption of this World War I propaganda poster for enlistment in the US Army. A dribbling, mustachioed ape wielding a club bearing the German word “kultur” and wearing a pickelhaube helmet with the word “militarism” is walking onto the shore of America while holding a half-naked woman in his grasp (possibly meant to depict Liberty). This is a US version of an earlier British poster with the same image. Dated ca 1917. [source: Wikipedia]

Summary: Why software patents should be confined geographically, as Microsoft mostly manages to extort Linux distributors in few places that acknowledge patents (monopolies) on algorithms

LWN, one of the best Linux sites out there, says that In Re Bilski means “business [method patents] as usual” (that’s the headline).

“Business method patents nearly bite the dust,” says SCOTUS Blog in the headline. In summary:

Reflecting on Justice Stevens’ lost majority opinion in Bilski

Brad Feld, a critic of this system [1, 2] with a long series of rants about software patents, previously wrote about “Why Bilski Really Means That Software Companies should leave the US” (snippets in Digital Majority).

The problem is made greater when countries other than the United States become equally hostile towards software developers and more friendly towards their lawyers.

According to this patents blog, there are changes in Germany that almost overlap horrible news about the Siemens case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and even Microsoft’s FAT patent (upheld in Germany).

The German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has recently made clear that every court has to take into account preceding decisions of the European Patent Office (EPO) and of courts of other contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC) if these decisions essentially concern the same questions. Although there is no principle of precedence in Germany – neither in respect of German nor of foreign decisions –, the recent ruling of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof, 15 April 2010, Xa ZB 10/09 – “Walzenformgebungsmaschine”) requires more than just regarding other decisions with favour. Every court has the obligation to deal with the arguments brought forward in other – German, EPO or foreign – decisions.

Two years ago it was a Symbian-related case that seemingly brought software patents into Europe via the UK. Earlier this year Germany’s legal system was named as a similar type of culprit and it’s important to watch and report these precedences. According to this report, DENSO, which is based in Japan (where software patents are legal), has just signed a patent deal with Microsoft. Linux is not mentioned at all, except by The Register which brings TomTom‘s case into it (gymnastics in logic?):

Microsoft scored yet another patent licensing deal yesterday, this time with automotive tech firm DENSO Corp.

[...]

Famously, Microsoft’s original court allegations over the three file management patents involved TomTom’s use of the Linux kernel, and according to Redmond at the time the settlement provided TomTom with coverage under those three patents in a way that was compliant with TomTom’s obligations under the General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2).

Many people must have noticed by now that Microsoft is capable of signing Linux-hostile software patent deals in the few places other than the United States (where Xandros, Linspire, and Novell are/were based) that acknowledge software patents. Examples include Fuji Xerox, Turbolinux, Kyocera Mita, and I-O Data (based in Japan too). It is therefore important to ensure that software patents never reach Europe, not in any formal sense anyway.

Korean giants like Samsung and LG have sold out to Microsoft as well (software patents are arguably valid over there). These two companies pay Microsoft for Linux on any items they sell, so it’s not clear why some Linux proponents are jubilant:

LG, Samsung big on Android

[...]

And now most other mobile phone makers, and those readying to ship tablet PCs, are embracing Android. Among them are LG and Samsung both of which are on the brink of releasing Android-based devices.

Microsoft makes money from those. It is better to buy an Android handset from Motorola, for example.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  2. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  3. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  4. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  5. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  6. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  7. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  8. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  9. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  10. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  11. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  12. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  13. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  14. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  15. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  16. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  17. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  18. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  19. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  20. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products



  21. Investigation Reveals That USPTO is Corrupt, Time to Abolish It or Annul Nearly a Million Patents

    Corruption is found at the heart of the USPTO and the USPTO works hard to hide it, despite attempt by whistleblowers to bring this corruption to light



  22. Links 13/8/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 Beta, Tizen in Watches

    Links for the day



  23. Links 12/8/2014: Chromebooks Surge, OpenGL in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  24. Bill Gates is Profiting By Diverting Public Money to His Own Pocket and Reducing Wages

    Gates' lobbying for companies he is an investor of and for lower salaries inside companies he is investing in (and managing) comes as no surprise



  25. Microsoft is Still Attacking Open Standards, So Khronos Does Not Need the Microsoft Moles

    Having attacked the industry's document standard OpenDocument Format (ODF) while pretending to have 'embraced' ODF Microsoft is now pretending that it is eager to support OpenGL



  26. Another Depressing Look at the Patent Systems in the US and in Europe

    A roundup of news about patent monopolies and in particular the immense power wielded by giant multi-national corporations that steer the debate and acquire trans-Atlantic monopolies on ideas, always against citizens' interests



  27. Links 11/8/2014: DEFT 8.2, Linux Mint on Debian Stable

    Links for the day



  28. Links 9/8/2014: Knoppix 7.4.0, GNU Linux Libre 3.16

    Links for the day



  29. Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Android Lawsuit Against Samsung Shows That Windows is Dead Beef

    Microsoft resorts to AstroTurfing, lawsuits, vapourware, and attack ads, revealing that it is a feeble aggressor whose only remaining hope for revival is destruction of rivals


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts